Indiana economic development officials released important updates Tuesday on the state's focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, which they say will foster startup activity and boost Indiana's $1 billion venture market. Outlined funding increases and program changes.
Commerce Secretary David Rosenberg said, “Indiana's entrepreneurial ecosystem is gaining unprecedented momentum, earning recognition as America's best state to start a business, and we're not slowing down.” he said. “Together with ecosystem partners like Elevate Ventures and Applied Research Institute, we continue to expand and modernize our suite of funding and support resources for Hoosier innovators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses to make dreams come true. We will support you.”
The update will increase funding and support for Indiana's entrepreneurs, innovators and startups, especially early-stage companies in the state, making investment capital more accessible, the news release said.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) estimates that these efforts and modernizations will double the number of state-supported venture development investments each year and further accelerate Indiana's growing venture development activity. Mr. Rosenberg heads the quasi-public IEDC.
Increase venture development funds
IEDC has renewed its agreement with venture development partner Elevate Ventures, increasing annual funding to the organization by 40%.
According to Pitchbook, Indiana's venture activity surpassed the $1 billion mark in 2021 and 2022, ranking it 4th in the U.S. and 15th in the world for venture growth from 2017 to 2023. .
IEDC said Elevate Ventures will focus on making, sustaining, and managing investments and realigning certain grant programs (including state innovation voucher programs and certain matching grants) with Applied Research Institutes (ARIs). , said it will allow organizations to more strategically promote ventures. Investment opportunities for startups and scale-ups.
Established new $3 million pre-seed fund
Elevate Ventures is launching a $3 million pre-seed fund designed to support early-stage companies in Indiana, according to IEDC.
The fund replaces current efforts through the Community Ideas Fund and Nexus Pitch Competition, which doubles the annual investment allocation for early-stage companies and eliminates some of the timing constraints of the previous program. will be reduced. IEDC said the changes will allow businesses to access critical funding when they need it most.
The fund's investments range from $20,000 to $100,000, and unlike other venture funds in Indiana, it does not require a similar amount of investment capital.
New matching grants available for innovation and technology transfer activities
The state will expand support for innovative entrepreneurs and small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Matching Grants Program, building on the first phase of matching grants already provided. In addition to the funding, a second phase of matching grants will be created. Available to Indiana businesses in the concept stage.
Matching grants will be administered by ARI and will be available to research and technology development grant recipients through 11 federal agencies. ARI will also take over administration of the Small Business Innovation Voucher Program, a program designed to help leverage Indiana's research and higher education institutions, giving small businesses access to industry experts and research leaders. It will also take over the approved non-profit research organizations that provide it.
Indiana modernizes regional model to foster entrepreneurship and startup activity, committing an additional $2 million to expand community-based support for small businesses
IEDC also said Elevate Ventures will support local ecosystems by eliminating the requirement for local communities to complete fundraising efforts to access investment opportunities and expanding its footprint to cover the entire state. He said he would modernize it.
The agency said the changes will make investment funds, especially pre-seed funds, more easily and quickly available across the state and provide access to local points of contact.
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